Colorado Buffaloes 13-10 (7-14 ATS) at California Golden Bears 16-6 (8-14 ATS)
When and Where: Sunday, Feb. 5, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Spread: -6.5; Total: 136
couple of winning streaks are on the line when the Colorado Buffaloes travel to Berkeley on Sunday afternoon to take the California Bears. The Buff’s started 0-7 in Pac-12 play but have rebounded with three straight victories. Cal has won six of their last seven after a 1-3 start in the conference and now sit just 2.5 games behind first-place squads Oregon and Arizona. The series is a relatively young one with the Bears holding a 14-12 advantage, but it was CU who won the previous meeting in Boulder in Jan. of 2016, 70-62.
Buffaloes Trying to Build Momentum
While most had written Colorado off, the Buffaloes have surprised after their poor start in league play. As a matter of fact, their 85-78 win over Oregon State not only snapped their seven-game overall skid, but also their 10-game losing streak in Pac-12 play. They have followed up the victory over the Beavers with a shocking-nine-point win over then tenth-ranked Oregon, and a seven-point surprise win at Stanford. Even with the current wining streak, the squad still just sits with a 3-7 mark in conference play, and that is despite coming into league play with high hopes and falling just three times in non-conference action (to Notre Dame, Colorado State, and BYU)
Derrick White leads the team with 16.3 points per game. The senior guard had 19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four blocked shots, and two steals in the 81-74 over the Cardinal. “He just makes winning basketball plays. He knows how to play. You can’t teach the things he does.” Four of the seven losses in the Pac-12 have come by three points or fewer, and the Buff’s have scored 80 points or more in five of their last seven affairs.
Golden Bears Getting it Done
After winning six of their last seven and three in a row, California is beginning to look like a very capable squad. They came into this season looking for redemption after falling in the opening round of last year’s NCAA Tournament with an upset loss to Hawaii. The team fell just three times in non-conference play, to San Diego State, Seton Hall, and Virginia. None of their wins were necessarily noteworthy but they have began league play with a 7-3 mark. The losses they do have are to the cream of the Pac-12’s crop in Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon. They have beaten the teams they should and roll into this contest off of back-to-back-to-back wins over Oregon State, Stanford, and Utah. The latter two victories have come by a combined three points.
Ivan Rabb and Jabari Bird combined for 38 points, and 28 points in Thursday’s 77-75 double-overtime win over the Utes. Bird put an exclamation on the victory with a alley-oop dunk with three seconds left in the second overtime. The team is second in the conference in defense, allowing 63 points per game. All-time, the Golden Bears are 11-0 in Berkeley against the Buffaloes.
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win
- 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog of 0.5-6.5
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Sunday games
Good on Colorado for putting together a string of victories, but none of them have exactly come against the class of the conference. Currently tied for third-place with UCLA, the Golden Bears are looking like they are exactly that (one of the best teams in the league). Cal’s only setback in their last seven contests came was on the road against highly-ranked Oregon. Look for the duo of Rabb and Bird to continue to shine as the Bears coast to an easy victory in this one.